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Scottish jobs saved as troubled HMV finds a saviour

Around 2500 jobs at entertainment retailer HMV have been saved after restructuring firm Hilco bought 141 stores, including the Fopp brand.

Hilco, which already owns HMV Canada, has bought the high street chain from administrator Deloitte, reportedly paying £50 million for the DVD and CD retailer.

The deal will save 12 HMV stores in Scotland as well as three Fopp outlets.

The company, which is also in talks about re-establishing the chain in Ireland, has negotiated revised terms with landlords and the key suppliers to the business

HMV had 223 stores across the UK, employing 4123 staff, when weak consumer spending and intense competition from the internet and supermarkets forced it into administration in January.

Shortly after being appointed, Deloitte announced 66 store closures with 900 job cuts.

Hilco bought HMV's £176m of debt for a reported £40m, putting it in pole position to acquire the group.

Hilco chief executive Paul McGowan said the group spent weeks discussing fresh terms with landlords and suppliers, which all supported its plans to keep the chain on the high street. The long-awaited deal includes nine Fopp stores.

Hilco plans to replicate some of the success it has had with HMV in Canada, which it bought almost two years ago and is now "trading strongly".

Mr McGowan said: "The structural differences in the markets and the higher level of competition in the UK will prove additional challenges for the UK business but we believe it has a successful future ahead of it."

The HMV UK business will be led by a team working alongside existing management. Ian Topping, former chief executive of Harveys and Cargo furniture stores group Steinhoff, will lead the Hilco team. Mr McGowan will be chairman of HMV.

Hilco will reverse plans to sell tablets and other devices in stores and "reclaim the space for an enhanced music and visual range".

Mr Topping said: "The reaction of the British public to the administration of HMV shows a strong desire for the business to continue to trade and we hope to play a constructive part in delivering that."

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